Act IV: Israel and the Kingdom

Sunday March 15 preacher Lisa Wiens Heinsohn explored the story of Israel seeking to meet its needs for justice and protection through a human king by becoming an “imperial community”, instead of living in dependence and trust on God’s promises as a “covenant community.” She then explored how Jesus critiques the whole notion of human power by teaching that everything belongs to God, and, by implication, that nothing belongs (by right) to the empire. Like the people of Israel, we too have many needs, and this story invites us to find out whether we are going to be a covenant community or an imperial one. Where are we going to get what we need?

Lisa invited us to do a spiritual exercise this week. Every day when you wake up and before you go to bed, survey your day, and ask yourself three questions:
(1) What do I really want, underneath my surface desires and assumptions?
(2) Which of my desires leads or has led to barrenness—to the emptiness of imperial community, the power that is no power at all, because it does not lead to life?
(3) What does it mean that I am invited to receive God’s reign as a gift?

The people of St. Matthews are apprentices learning to follow the way of Jesus together. We are learning what it means to be a covenant community, not an imperial one. Let us discover together the radical gift of God’s reign.

Please add your thoughts on Lisa’s sermon, and as the week progresses, tell us about the results of your asking yourself the three questions above.

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